Teaching with Primary Sources-MTSU 2017 Summer Institute

Institute participants will visit Carver High School, which began as a Rosenwald school, in Brownsville.

The Teaching with Primary Sources-MTSU 2017 Summer Institute will explore the Jim Crow period, focusing on the years from 1896 to the 1930s. The Plessy v. Ferguson decision in 1896 granted Constitutional approval to segregation as long as it was “equal.” This stamp of approval from the Supreme Court allowed Southern states to continue with the roll-back of African Americans’ rights that had started as soon as Reconstruction ended. African American communities responded by continuing to build institutions such as schools, churches, businesses, and social organizations to improve their lives and to support their vibrant communities in the face of the harsh segregation system.

Content experts will discuss the changes happening in Tennessee during this pivotal period, including the building of Rosenwald schools across the state. Participants will spend time researching relevant collections, exhibitions, and materials available from the Library of Congress. Experienced educators will share strategies on incorporating the inquiry method and primary sources in the classroom. Participants will visit several sites in West Tennessee, and TPS staff will discuss the importance of using historic sites as primary sources and strategies for connecting site visits to classroom teaching.

Dates: Tuesday – Thursday, June 13-15

Location: West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center

Theme: Building Community in the Age of Jim Crow

The goal of the institute is to provide educators with a strong foundation in the historical content related to the theme; provide instruction and share strategies for using primary sources both in the classroom and in conjunction with visits to historic sites; and immerse participants in relevant collections and materials available from the Library of Congress Web site.

Click here for a schedule and more details.

Spring 2017 Common Bond

The Spring 2017 issue of Common Bond, our quarterly newsletter, is online. Our Formers’ Corner video features Jessi White, who is the historic preservation consultant for the city of Huntsville, AL. Jessi talks about her mentors at the CHP and how they helped prepare her for the profession. Also highlighted this quarter are current CHP graduate research assistant Torren Gatson, who recently presented a paper at the Colonial Williamsburg Antiques Forum; our new Professional Services Partnerships program (applications are due June 1); and our Teaching with Primary Sources–MTSU outreach efforts, which recently included two packed presentations at the Tennessee Council for the Social Studies conference.  In addition to our quarterly newsletter, you can keep up with our news via Facebook.

CHP Will Be Honored with Historic Journey Award

The Shiloh Community Restoration Foundation presented its 11th annual Historic Journey Award to the Center for Historic Preservation at an event in Macon County, Alabama, on April 29.  The foundation honored CHP director Dr. Carroll Van West and several current and former graduate students, including Dr. Kristen Baldwin Deathridge, Dr. Abigail Gautreau, Dr. Katie O’Bryan, Torren Gatson, and Leigh Ann Gardner, who is also a former CHP staff member. The Center has worked with the community in Macon County on several projects over the years, including a Multiple Property Submission for the U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study, 1932-1973, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010, and a history exhibit for the Shiloh Rosenwald School (shown on the program above). “We were honored when Liz Sims, Edie Powell, and Shirley Johnson in 2007 asked us to help the Project Team preserve and present the story of the Shiloh community to Alabama and the nation,” West has written in response to the award. “We remain privileged and humbled that the Shiloh Community Restoration Foundation has presented us with this very gracious acknowledgment and award. We look forward to future projects and your continued success.” The full program for the event can be found here.

Heritage Center Hosts Migration with Dignity

For the second year in a row, the Heritage Center of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County hosted the Migration with Dignity in Middle Tennessee exhibit. The exhibit, a project by students of the MTSU Global Studies program, used testimonial and art to honor the diversity and vibrancy of the many migrant groups who now call Middle Tennessee home. This year, the exhibit included several interpretive panels, works of art, and a presentation of five short films. The films will be shown once more this year, along with a ceremony at Casa Azafran, Nolensville Pike, on April 23rd. For more information, see http://www.mtsu.edu/exl/pdf/Migration_with_Dignity_2017.pdf.

McLemore House Museum Features New Exhibit

The McLemore House Museum in Franklin, Tennessee, a longtime partner of the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, is now open regularly for visitors on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 to 2. A ribbon-cutting was held recently for the new signature exhibit at the museum. The exhibit, “Building a Future–The Journey from Slavery to Freedom,” was developed by Heritage Area staff and graduate students in partnership with the African American Heritage Society of Franklin and Williamson County. Read more here.

Graduate Students Contribute to New Exhibit at the Heritage Center

Graduate students were key contributors to the new exhibit about the local music scene at the Heritage Center of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County, a partnership between the CHP’s Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area program and the Main Street downtown revitalization organization. “Home Grown to Nationally Known: The Artistic Legacies of Murfreesboro” covers the history of the local music industry in Murfreesboro and Rutherford County. Graduate research assistants Lane Tilner, Sherry Teal, and Annabeth Hayes (shown at left during the opening of the exhibit) helped CHP director Dr. Carroll Van West write and design the exhibit. Stop by 225 West College Street, Monday-Friday from 10-3, to see the new exhibit for yourself!  Graduate students are now developing a digital exhibit to correspond with the physical exhibit.

Call for Proposals for Professional Services Partnerships

The CHP is excited to announce a new application process for organizations seeking assistance with developing their historic resources. Our Professional Services Partnerships will provide communities with an opportunity to take advantage of our professional staff and graduate research assistants’ knowledge and expertise at no cost. Proposals will be accepted annually, with the first deadline coming on June 1, 2017. Please see below for the full announcement, and be sure to let us know if you have any questions.


The Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University invites local governments, state agencies, non-profit organizations, and community groups to submit applications for five available partnerships for Professional Services for the 2017-2018 academic year. These Professional Services Partnerships will provide the chosen applicants with professional services at no charge, with the expertise provided by the faculty and staff of the Center for Historic Preservation, assisted by MTSU public history graduate students who are in training at the Center.

We are particularly interested in projects that:

1. Can be completed within one year
2. Address a significant historic property, event, or issue
3. Are located within a 300-mile radius of MTSU’s location in Murfreesboro, TN
4. Demonstrate community need, and
5. Demonstrate the sponsoring group/agency’s own commitment of time, effort, and support

In the past five years, the Center for Historic Preservation has used its Professional Services to support such projects as:

1. Historic Structure Reports
2. Heritage Development Plans
3. History exhibits
4. Heritage tourism driving tours
5. Historic cemetery assessments and preservation plans
6. Heritage publications
*Please see our Partnership Projects database (http://www.mtsuhistpres.org/about/partnership-projects/) for examples of these types of projects.

Applications should include (1) cover letter; (2) a 1-page description of past projects with the Center for Historic Preservation, if any; (3) a detailed description of the proposed project, with images as necessary, not to exceed 5 pages; (4) a full description of the community need, the number of people you hope to reach, and the types of support provided by the applicant and its partners, not to exceed 3 pages; and (5) at least three letters of support for the proposed project from government officials, property owners, or other stakeholders.

Applications are due June 1, 2017. Center faculty and staff may visit the proposed project in June or July, and the awarded partnerships will be announced on August 1, 2017. You may e-mail your application as a PDF to histpres@mtsu.edu or send it as a hard copy to the Center for Historic Preservation, Box 80, MTSU, Murfreesboro, TN, 37132.

For more information, contact:
Antoinette van Zelm, Assistant Director, antoinette.vanzelm@mtsu.edu
Lydia Simpson, Programs Manager, lydia.simpson@mtsu.edu
Both can also be reached at 615-898-2947.

Fieldwork Coordinator Position

The Center for Historic Preservation is searching for a new fieldwork coordinator, a key staff member who gets to work on great projects and interact with graduate students regularly. The position description is available at https://mtsujobs.mtsu.edu/postings/4809 and is also copied below. Please call us at 615-898-2947 if you need more information.

Coordinator – Center for Historic Preservation
Job Description: Reporting to the Director of Center for Historic Preservation: support
the Center’s mission of research, instruction, and public service through four areas: (1)
Manage and carry out research and public service projects for the documentation,
restoration, rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of historic properties, (2) work and
supervise graduate students on research and fieldwork projects under the guidance of
the Center director, (3) coordinate Center’s research with digital initiative partnerships
both on and off campus, and (4) serve as liaison with IT staff on the needs and products
of staff and student research and public service projects. Perform other related special
projects as assigned.
Knowledge: Project management and supervision. Graduate student project
management and coordination. Historic Preservation field, literature, practices. Historic
building technology, architectural history and architectural conservation. Digital
publication, microcomputer applications and software.
Abilities: Establish and maintain effective working relations with diverse constituencies.
Effective interpersonal, written and oral communication skills. Represent CHP & MTSU.
Effectively coordinate multiple projects, contracts, agencies/organizations, publications,
vendors and staff. Research, analyze and draw conclusions and produce products
based on primary sources, fieldwork, and experience. Analyze historic buildings and
finishes, draw conclusions from research and fieldwork findings, and prepare print and
digital products. Prepare materials for digital publication and/or dissemination.
Effectively use and train others on microcomputer software for preservation fieldwork
and research.
Education: Master’s degree in history, historic preservation, public history, museum
studies or related field.
Required Experience: Three (3) years full time experience in historic preservation or a
related field including working experience with historical/legal research, historic
structures reports, cultural resource survey, heritage development studies, public
programming, graduate student instruction, digital publication, and microcomputer
applications in historic preservation.
Salary Range: $31,965 – $39,370; commensurate with experience
Closing Date: April 20, 2017
Apply On-line: http://mtsujobs.mtsu.edu/postings/4793
This position requires a criminal background check. Therefore, you may be required to
provide information about your criminal history in order to be considered for this

Tennessee Marble Research Continues

Last month, the CHP’s Dr. Susan Knowles joined with William Isom, Steve Cotham, Cherel Henderson, and Michele MacDonald at the Price Community Center in Hawkins County to gather information on the area’s marble history. Tennessee’s marble industry was the subject of Knowles’s dissertation and is featured in a new exhibit at the East Tennessee History Center. Last month’s event was held in partnership with the East Tennessee Historical Society and the Hawkins County Archives. Kingsport, Morristown, Mooresburg, and Rogersville residents and historical associations were well-represented. To read more about the event, look at this article from the Kingsport Times-News Online.